The words, “my God, my God” (Matthew 27:46) reveal Jesus’ thoughts and feelings while He hung on the cross. Throughout His earthly life, Jesus was constantly in communion with God and was renewed in strength and love thereby. However, part of Jesus’ sacrificial experiences as Adam’s ransom included experiencing Adam’s (mankind’s) loss of a relationship with His Father. Thus, when God completely removed His presence, Jesus’ grief was manifested by His cry.
Psalm 22:1 reads, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?" By uttering this cry, Jesus directed His thoughts (and ours) to this psalm. The prophetic psalm foretold the pain and suffering Jesus was experiencing (especially verses 9-18), as well as His continued trust in God. It also detailed God’s faithfulness to Israel throughout difficulties, and faith in God’s future deliverance of all mankind from sin and death (verses 25-31).
Even the specific insults which were hurled at Him from the scribes and Pharisees, the people passing by, and the two crucified thieves were prophesied in verses 6-8. This psalm truly described Jesus’ last hours on the cross.
The Jews knew the Scriptures; they knew the psalms. By hearing these words, the Jews at the cross would also recognize this fact. Those with honest hearts would be able to connect these verses with Jesus’ words, and see that all of this was foretold, and that Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy.
Jesus’ suffering was not the only thing foretold by this psalm, however. It also detailed His faith, and that God would rescue him. Verses 22-31 show Him gaining strength and peace, and as He rehearsed this psalm, He would be strengthen to endure until “it is finished.”
These verses reveal the purpose for His suffering, which is not for His personal deliverance, but for the deliverance of all mankind. Verse 27 says, “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.”
Finally, let us learn from Jesus’ example that when we are in times of trouble, we can turn to God’s word. There we will find comfort and purpose for our experiences, and we can gain strength and peace to endure until the end.